Rare 1955 Packard Caribbean Convertible!

Packard introduced the Caribbean in 1953 based on their 1952 show car called the Pan American. For most of its somewhat brief life, the Caribbean was available only as a luxury convertible, the top-of-the-line automobile offered by the company. By 1955, the first model year after the merger with Studebaker, the Caribbean was so elegant that it was priced $2,000 more than a comparable Cadillac drop-top. This example in San Carlos, California looks like a partially restored car where more work remains to polish it off. Available here on craigslist, the asking price is $35,000. Another great tip from T.J.!

The Caribbean benefitted from a new engine in 1955, the 352 cubic-inch, 275-hp Packard V8, which was only around for two years before it became a casualty of cost-cutting at the merged organization. Fuel was delivered through a pair of 4-barrel carburetors. Every power option was standard, except for air conditioning, and the Packard rode on electronically operated, self-leveling torsion bar suspension. That was known to be troublesome on occasion. Though the seller says that production was limited to 1,000 copies, Hagerty indicates the Caribbean output was capped at 500 each year to ensure exclusivity.

We’re told this Caribbean has always been a California car and has been in long-term indoor storage more recently. Mechanically, the automobile is said to be in good shape and runs well. The body and paint look to have been restored, though the doors and trunk lid don’t appear to close properly.

The interior is where most of the remaining work may lie. The seats, with their reversible cushions, look to need reupholstering and it will also require new carpeting, door panels, and canvas top. The seller has more than the asking price invested in this machine, so we’re told that the $35,000 price tag is firm. The styling, luxury, and rarity of these cars make them some of the most collectible post-war Packards.

Comments

  1. Rod Faurot

    Get rid of the obnoxious commercials. They are degrading the sight.

    Like 28
    • Steve Clinton

      Unfortunately, they are a necessary evil that helps support the site.

    • Jim in Fl Member

      Barn Finds Members don’t see the commercials. Just sayin…

      Like 9
      • PeterM Member

        Not true. I am a member, and these commercials are there every day. It would be great if Barn Finds could get rid of them.

      • Jesse Mortensen jesse Staff

        @PeterM – you need to log in to browse ad-free. The system has no other way of knowing you are a member.

      • Rixx56 Member

        Up until these particular comments,
        I see ’em!? Is this something new?

      • JimZ Member

        RIXX56, even though you are a member…if you don’t see this at the top of your page, you’re still not “logged in” and will continue to see the ads.

        Like 1
    • Greg Gustafson

      word!

      Like 1
    • Gerald Edgar

      They pay for the site – preferring paying a fee beyond the voluntary donations? I think not!

      Like 5
  2. XMA0891

    For my money, the ’54 is the one to have.

    Like 1
  3. Beaner

    Wow, what a ride. Wish is was mine.

    Like 2
  4. egads

    1955 rear seat and 56 reversible front seat pads and frame and rear pads? At least it still has the 2 4 setup. Always loved these cars.

    Like 2
  5. MGSteve

    I always find it amusing when people set their price on how much money they’ve spent on the car. In reality, the fact that you might have invested a couple hundred grand, by letting others work on the car, and/or making many bad decisions or whatever, has NOTHING to do with the value of the car.

    Like 15
  6. Paul in Ma

    There is a beautiful one near me on FB Marketplace they have been asking $55K for. I would love to have but the reality is I just don’t see long term price support for cars like this. In 10 years from now it will be a $45K car and with inflation, that $45K will be today’s equivalent of $20-25K. I love old Packards.

    Like 1
    • MikeH

      If you’re buying it to make money, then yea, go buy a muscle car or a Ferrari. If you’re buying it because you love it, then it doesn’t really matter what it’s worth in ten years. You will have had ten years of pleasure out of it.

      Like 13
      • Gerald Edgar

        Agreed! Son loves ‘vettes so got a “61 – heckuva a good investment AND is a car he loves.

        Like 3
      • Willam r HALL

        I was just looking at a Mechum Auction on TV. Some of the prices they were supposedly getting for things that when they were new and pretty much junk compared to the Packard were incredible. This must mean most people who show up at car auctions have piles of money to spend and don’t really care how and what the spend it on.

        Like 2
  7. scottymac

    The Barn Find’s photo appears to show just a single four barrel on the engine; the Craig’s List shots shows the dual quad manifold and bat wing air cleaner.

    Like 1
  8. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    @Jim in FL

    Actually, members do see the adds. At least I do. Don’t know what kinda set you have, but these annoying ads are visible.
    I know they help pay for the site, but about a year ago they suddenly exploded and were everywhere.
    Back to the vehicle at hand, to me it doesn’t look like there’s not a lot to do except the interior. Priced fair. IMO

    Like 6
    • JimZ Member

      Angel, if you just click on the links in your email, you’re not logged in, and you’ll get the ads.
      You have to manually log in, then go back and click on the email link.

      I think this is a short-coming in the BF email system. They should be able to flag emails that go to members so they don’t get the ads.
      Or at minimum set the pages up so if you click on the link in the email, allow readers to log in yet still remain in the same message. (Currently if you log in while on a certain page, you’ll end up in another unrelated page)
      <Thanks, I feel better now!)
      You're welcome!

      Like 8
  9. Vince H

    The 275 hp engine only had one carb.

    Like 1
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Vince, as I recall the regular 4 barrel carb engine on the Patrician and 400 was rated at 260 hp, and the dual quad Caribbean was rated at 275.

      Like 1
      • Bob C.

        Not much of a jump with an extra carburetor.

        Like 1
      • Vince H

        the 352 with one 4 barrel in the Golden Hawk was 275

        Like 1
  10. Angel_Cadillac_Diva Angel Cadillac Diva Member

    Thank you, Jim! I’m glad you feel better now

    Like 5
  11. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Yes – this seller has been trying to sell this and some other of his cars ALL over CL and hasn’t sold any yet for a long time – maybe going on years. Like the guy in the great mid-west that claims he’s liquidating……none he lists have sold yet either.

    Like 1
  12. MGSteve

    Not the way things work, nor have they for a long time. Earliest TV programs had sponsors. Try watching or listening to anything about any sport, without sponsors. Even the Olympics. Formula 1. Indy 500. And on and on and on . . . . . Shoot, even local Pop Warner and Little League games have sponsors. Yearbooks in school have sponsors!

    Like 1

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